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Do people really prefer 3D TV?

by David Mercer | 4月 21, 2009

Most of the discussion and presentations on the question of 3DTV here at NAB seem to start with the assumption that the vast majority of consumers will prefer 3D to 2D, but that’s not clear to me from some of the data presented. CEA research of US viewers presented by David Wertheimer, CEO of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC, suggests that, of people who have seen a 3D movie at the cinema, only 38% say they prefer 3D to 2D of the same presentation. In other words, nearly two thirds of people who have seen 3D are neutral or actually prefer 2D. The impact on home viewing is even less marked: Of 3D movie cinema viewers, only 1 in 5 say they want to watch 3D at home. Much of this may have to do with the fact that consumers simply see the theatre/cinema experience as completely different from anything they watch on TV at home, or that they see movies as different to much of the content they would normally see at home, such as documentaries, news or sports. Once they see those in 3D as well, the interest levels in home 3D viewing may rise. But it doesn’t seem to me like a very good start for 3D at home. As I reported recently, my own anecdotal evidence suggests that people can easily be nonplussed by the 3D cinema experience. NAB conference attendees who applaud clever creative and technical cinematic presentations are not typical of the wider public. I’m sure home 3D television and movies will come one day, and some consumers will be prepared to spend money on it. But apart from the user experience challenges, there are serious business model hurdles to overcome. Don’t be fooled by the fact that 3D theatre presentations may be outgunning the equivalent 2D shows at the box office. Theatre/cinema receipts alone are nowhere near enough for the studios to recoup their investments. Until there is a viable home 3D delivery channel the 3D movie explosion we are currently seeing is simply a loss-leader for Hollywood studios hoping to recoup those investments over the much longer term. Add to Technorati Favorites Buzz up!vote now submit to reddit
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